The tattoo shop bustled as young men and women filed in to make a statement on their skin. The weekends at Get Inked were crazy since it was the only tattoo and piercing shop that looked decent. Bent Needles, the shop’s competitor, had been cited for health violations numerous times by the county. The Night Rebels owned Get Inked, and customers felt comfortable in the clean, professional-looking establishment. The ochre-yellow walls and dark brown laminate floors had a calming effect on people who paid to have needles pierce their designs into their skin.
“Did Flora ever call?” Tattoo Mike asked Goldie as he slipped a wad of cash into the cash register.
“Nope. I tried calling and texting her a bunch of times. It’d be a big help if we had a receptionist tonight. It sucks to have to run the counter and do the ink. We should fire her ass. This is the second Saturday she’s pulled this shit.” Goldie ran his hand through his short hair.
“I already have an ad online and in the paper. She’s history.” Tattoo Mike glanced over the appointment book. “We gotta start limiting walk-ins on the weekends. You got any appointments for tonight?”
“I just finished with my last one. You?”
“I got two, and both of them are pretty intense in design. Looks like you, Skull, and Jimmy are gonna have to handle the walk-ins.”
“No problem. I’m going to get a club girl over here to handle the front desk.” Goldie picked up his phone and dialed one of his brothers. “Dude. We need one of the girls to help out tonight. That bitch Flora was a no-show again. We’re slammed and it’s just gonna get worse. Seems like everyone wants a tat or a piercing after downing a few shots.” Goldie chuckled.
“I’ll bring one of the girls over. The bitch just lost her job,” Paco said.
“Tattoo Mike’s already got an ad out. Thanks, dude. See you in a few.” Goldie set his phone down and looked up as Skull approached.
“Jimmy’s sick as shit. There’s no way he can work on anyone.” Skull pulled out a bottle of root beer from the mini fridge behind the counter.
“Fuck! Tattoo Mike’s got two customs.” Goldie clasped the back of his neck and rubbed it hard.
Jimmy was the only citizen tattoo artist who worked at Get Inked. He’d been working there for over five years and his work was impeccable. The club had talked about taking on another citizen artist part-time, but they hadn’t found anyone they thought was good enough and fit into the overall vibe of the shop. The tattoo parlor didn’t just have customers from Alina; citizens from the outlying county and as far away as Durango came to the shop. Their reputation for having top-notched tattoo artists was known throughout the southwestern part of Colorado.
“Looks like we’ll be hustling our asses in about another hour.” Skull looked at the wall clock that was surrounded by framed pictures of tattooed men and women. The clock read eleven; soon people would be leaving the bars. “I hope I don’t have to kick anyone’s ass tonight. We don’t have time for that shit.” Skull guzzled the root beer.
Goldie nodded. The road captain for the Night Rebels usually loved a good fight, but not when he was working and needed to concentrate on what the hell he was doing. Many people staggered in drunk and loud, demanding to have a tattoo or a piercing. The policy was to turn them away. Sometimes they had to get tough and throw them out, and there was always someone who thought he could fight them. It really got under Goldie’s skin.
“Hey, guys,” Kelly said as she walked through the door. She was the club girl who usually offered to help out at the club’s businesses if they needed backup.
“Hey. You’re the receptionist for the next three hours.” Goldie moved aside as she squeezed in behind the counter, rubbing her behind against him.
“You owe me. I was right in the middle of getting real cozy with one of the Fallen Slayers. He was cute too.”
The Fallen Slayers MC was a club the Night Rebels were friendly with. They lived about an hour away in Silverado and would come to the club’s weekend parties. Once in a while, the Night Rebels would go to Silverado to shoot some pool with them or hang at one of their parties.
“You guys need anything else?” Paco asked.
Goldie smiled. “No. You anxious to get back to the party? How’s the citizen turnout tonight?”
“Fucking awesome.” Paco lifted his eyebrows.
“Damn. We need to be there.” Skull came out from behind the counter and sank down onto one of the black leather couches against the wall.
“They’ll still be there when we get off,” Goldie said.
Paco nodded. “If you don’t need anything else, I’m outta here.”
Goldie lifted his chin. “Catch you later, dude.”
Two guys walked in and approached the counter. “We’d like to get a tattoo,” the taller one said to Kelly.
She turned to Goldie. “You available?”
He eyed the two guys. “How old are you?”
The shorter one turned red and looked at the floor, but the tall one said, “Eighteen.”
“Bullshit. You guys don’t even look sixteen. Show me some ID.”
“I left my license at home,” the tall one said; the short one kept staring at the floor.
“No ID, no tattoo. Pretty simple.”
The tall one shifted from one foot to another. “We heard you guys were cool here. That this was owned by the Night Rebels.”
“It is owned by the Night Rebels, and we’re cool as fuck. I still need to see your IDs. If you’re eighteen, you’ll go back to one of the rooms. It you don’t have any IDs, then you’ll have to come back when you do.”
“But we have the money and are ready—”
Goldie held up his hands. “Now you’re just pissing me off, kid. I’m not negotiating with you. I’m telling you that you’re not getting a fuckin’ tattoo without any ID telling me you’re eighteen. So hit the pavement.”
The shorter teenager moved away from the counter. “Let’s go, Tyler.”
“We’ll just go to Bent Needles.” Tyler glared at Goldie.
“Do whatever you want, but you’re not getting tatted in this shop.”
“I’m not going there. My cousin went there and got a massive infection in his leg. Let’s just go home. My mom will be pissed if I’m late again tonight.” The shorter guy moved toward the door.
“Just shut the fuck up, Brandon.” Tyler clenched his fists and stormed out.
Goldie, Skull, and Kelly laughed.
“I’m so glad I’m not a teenager anymore. Those years were hell,” Kelly said as she wiggled on the stool.
“You’re not kidding,” Skull said as he glanced at two men who’d just come in.
Soon Skull was in a room with one guy and Goldie was with the other. Thankful his customer wanted a simple design, Goldie stood and stretched forty-five minutes later while the man slipped on his shirt. “Remember to keep the bandage on until the morning. No sun for at least three weeks. Follow everything on this sheet of paper and you should be good. It you have problems or questions, give us a call.” He handed the aftercare list to the customer, who paid Kelly and handed a twenty to Goldie. “Appreciate it, man.”
The client nodded and walked out.
“Why’d you shave off your beard? I thought Army bet you couldn’t grow it longer than Diablo’s.”
“I couldn’t fuckin’ stand it. It itched, and I was scratching my face all the time. I gladly gave Army his winnings.” He ran his hand over his smooth face.
“I like you either way, sweetie. Skull’s still working on his guy. I’ve gotta pee.” Kelly slid off the stool and scratched Goldie’s back with her fingernails. “I like your muscles. They make me horny.” She winked at him and leaned in. “You wanna fool around?”
Her body was soft against his, and the scent of orange blossom invaded his nostrils. He wasn’t fond of overbearing fragrances, and many of the club girls bathed themselves in it, including this one. He stepped back. “I thought you had to pee.”
“I do. Just thinking about when I get back.” She squirmed in place, then rushed to the bathroom at the end of the hall.
He watched her go. Normally he’d be all over it, but right then he wasn’t feeling it. He was restless and had been for a couple of months. What he was restless about, he couldn’t say; he just wanted something different from what he had. Of course, he had his pick of women, and he was the first to admit unabashedly that he was a player. What could he say? He loved women—all types. But for the past couple of months, he hadn’t felt that energized when he’d been screwing the club girls. It’d begun to seem routine.
He perched on the edge of the stool, pulled out a copy of Easyriders, and thumbed through it. As he was reading an article, the door opened and loud giggling filled his ears. He looked up and saw three women, but the one in the middle made his blood pump. She kept covering her full pink lips with her hand as if to suppress her snigger. Her chestnut hair had blonde streaks in it as though the sun had kissed it, and it cascaded past her shoulders, which were bare.
Then she looked at him. Her eyes were seriously blue—field of cornflower, summer desert sky at noon. Perfect. Her hand dropped down to her side and her lips parted. Goldie watched every movement, wishing he could slip his tongue into her mouth for a quick taste.
“I really had to go.” Kelly’s voice broke through the intensity of the moment. The woman turned away, and her friend whispered something to her. A peal of laughter erupted from them.
Kelly came behind the counter and he stood away from the stool so she sat once more.
“Can I help you ladies?” he said. I hope she wants a clit piercing. I bet her pussy is as pink as her mouth.
The two women next to her shoved her forward, saying, “She wants a tattoo.” They laughed. She shooed their hands away from her and shook her head, then looked at him again.
He groaned inwardly and his cock stirred as she skimmed the tip of her tongue over the contours of her lips, lips that were made for sinning.
“Is it a yes or no?” He threw her the smile that melted most women’s panties. She shrugged. “Have you been thinking about this for a while, or did you have a couple of drinks and come over here?”
Laughter burst from all three of them and it made him grin more. She’s fucking sweet.
Kelly tapped her fingers on the counter. “Do you want a tat or not?” The women quieted down.
Anxious not to break their jovial mood, he turned to Kelly. “I’ll handle this.” She rolled her eyes, then looked down at the magazine Goldie had on the counter.
“Hay’s been thinking about it for a while. That’s all she talks about,” the dark-haired woman said.
“Especially when she’s had a couple of White Russians,” the other woman chimed in. That made them start laughing again.
Goldie moved in front of the counter. “Are you drunk?” His voice was low and gravelly.
She darted her eyes to his and their gazes locked. The laughing hyenas, Kelly’s aggravated sighs, the whir of the needles all faded out; there was nothing in the room but him and her. Heat stirred within him as his hungry gaze devoured her rounded hips and long shapely legs. Her cheeks burned brightly as she shifted in place.
“So are you?” he asked.
“Am I what?” she breathed.
His eyes climbed slowly from her pretty sandaled feet to her bright red face. “Drunk?”
“Hay’s not drunk, but we are,” the dark-haired woman said between sniggers.
“So, Hay’s getting the tattoo?” He locked gazes with her again. She nodded. “Where do you want it?”
“On her butt.” Her friends giggled.
He raised his eyebrow. “Your friends seem to be doing all the talking. Is that where you want it?”
“Uh… yeah. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. I’m also not drunk. I’ve had a couple of drinks but I’m good.”
“Do you know what design you want?”
She nodded. “It’s nothing too big or anything.” She pointed to Kelly, whose head was buried in the magazine. “Is she the one who’s going to do the tattoo?”
He shook his head. “She’s the receptionist. I’m going to do it.” She gasped as her hand covered her pretty mouth. He chuckled. “You seem to have a problem with that.”
“Oh, go on, Hay. I’m sure he’s seen a lot of asses before. It’s like a doctor. After a while, all asses and boobs look alike.” Her blonde-haired friend pushed her forward a bit.
“Stop it, Claudia. You and Rory are starting to get on my nerves.”
Mine too. “You’re not going to find a woman artist in Alina, or the county for that matter. If you go to a bigger city you’ll find them there.” I bet she has a gorgeous ass.
“Is it like Claudia said? I mean, you must do a ton of these. It’s probably like no big deal.”
He pressed his lips and ran his eyes over her face. “Yeah. I do a ton of these, but it’s up to you. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable.”
Snickering, she threw her shoulders back. “What the hell. Let’s do it.”
A celebration complete with horns and streamers broke out inside him. “Yeah. What the hell. Follow me.”
“Can my friends come too?”
The last thing he wanted was the giggling duo, but he was afraid if he said no she’d back out. He nodded and walked down the hallway, the clacking of high heels echoing behind him.
He opened the door to a room that had a padded massage table. The walls were adorned with drawings of tattoos, and there was a small black leather love seat against one wall, a built-in desk with a computer, and several bookcases stuffed with black binders and books on various designs.
“Do you have a design in mind?” Goldie asked as he gestured for Hay to sit on the table. “I want a standing trunk with a bunch of flowers wrapped around it. I don’t want the trunk real thick, and I want the flowers to look like they’re in watercolor.”
Standing in front of the bookcase, he pulled out a thick binder and leafed through it. Then he walked over to her, pointing to a floral design. “Something like this?”
A smile spread across her face. “That’s exactly what I want. It’s beautiful. Is it your design?”
He nodded, then went over to the sink in the corner of the room and washed and dried his hands. “What’s your pain tolerance?”
“I’m not sure. Is it going to hurt?”
“A little. Everyone is different. I can put a numbing cream on the area. I usually don’t do that except for areas that can be extra sensitive, which the buttocks can be.”
“Really? I wouldn’t think that since there’s so much flesh there.”
Yeah. I bet she’s got a soft, squeezable ass. “Doesn’t seem to matter. Some people breeze right through it. Others squirm a lot. It’s up to you.” Reaching down, he pulled a bottled water from the small fridge near the sink and gave it to her. “Drink up. I want to make sure you’re hydrated.”
“If I do the numbing thing, how long will it take?”
“Usually about thirty minutes to an hour for it to take effect.”
“Let’s just go without it. I’ll be brave. I promise.” Her bright smile pulled him in, and he craved to press his mouth on her full lips.
“Okay. Slip off your panties and lie on your stomach. You allergic to latex?”
“Just wondering what type of gloves to use.” As he watched her wiggle out of her lacey panties, his dick pulsed. He hadn’t even seen her ass and his cock was already misbehaving. He shook his head and came over to her, waiting for her to get comfortable. Lifting her skirt, he sucked in his breath as two rounded ass cheeks came into view. They were perfection. Damn. I gotta concentrate on what I’m doing, not on how badly I want to bite and smack her ass.
“Can we see the design?” Rory said. Grateful for the intrusion, Goldie nodded and handed her the binder. “Oh wow. It’s beautiful. I may just have to get me one of these.” She smiled and caught his look.
Diverting his gaze back to the most beautiful ass he’d ever seen, he began to adorn it.
An hour later, he secured the bandage over the tattoo and helped her up. Claudia handed Hay her panties, and she giggled as she began to slip them on.
“Make sure you follow all the instructions on this sheet. Since you got your tat higher up on your cheek, it should be easier to sit. Just make sure you keep it clean and moist. You don’t want to wear anything too tight, and you may want to reconsider wearing panties for a couple of weeks.”
His lips twitched when crimson streaked her face.
“Thanks,” she mumbled as she took the sheet from his hands before she rushed to the door and walked down the hall with her two friends in tow.
“You forgot to sign in.” Kelly’s voice bounced off the walls. “And put down your phone number.”
“Why?” Hay asked.
“That’s the rule.”
Kelly’s nails scraping against the counter grated on his nerves. He went into the reception area.
“We ask for customers’ phone numbers to check up on them and make sure they’re not having any problems,” he said.
“Do I have to?” She looked everywhere but at him.
“No. It’s optional.” Goldie watched as she hesitated, then quickly wrote something down.
“Let’s go.” She and her friends went through the front door, nearly colliding with a couple of guys as they came into the shop.
Goldie watched the three women disappear into the night. If she left her number, I’ll give her a call tomorrow to see how she’s doing. He walked over to the front counter and glanced at the sign-in sheet. He jerked his head back and a sudden coldness spread through him as he read the name “Hailey Shilley.” What the fuck?
“Goldie, did you hear me? Are you zoning out?” Kelly’s voice pierced through his veil of shock.
“What do you want?”
“These guys want tats. Are you available?”
He nodded slowly. “I can do one and Skull can do the other. Buzz him.” He turned to the twentysomethings. “Where do you want the tats?” They both said their upper arms. “Okay. Give me a minute while I set things up.”
Walking to one of the rooms that had a black leather chair that resembled a barber’s chair, he gripped the counter and shook his head. He still couldn’t believe the woman he’d had a hard-on for, the one whose ass he’d seen and touched, was Hailey Shilley.
Is it possible that this is just some fucked-up coincidence? But he knew it wasn’t. He only knew one Hailey Shilley, and she was the little sister of his best buddy, Ryan. But when he’d last seen Hailey, she’d just turned fourteen. Their dad was transferred to New Mexico and that was the last time he saw or thought of her.
She grew up real nice. He shook his head forcefully. Damnit! This is Ryan’s little sister. He couldn’t go there. Even though he was drawn to her, and he suspected she was to him, he couldn’t start anything with her. Ryan would kill me. I just have to forget about her.
He prepared his room, then went to the front. Only one of the guys was sitting on the couch. “My buddy went with the other dude,” he said.
Goldie nodded and motioned him to follow. I always call my customers after they get a tattoo. I’ll give her a quick call tomorrow and then it’ll be done. What’s one call going to hurt?
Resolute in his decision, he motioned for the guy to sit in the chair, and then he closed the door.